Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Candor

Candor by Alan  Davies
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: literary-criticism, poetry

"Active 24 Hours" was a collection of poems in slightly different forms, "NAME" was one poem (what Alan might called "vertically" organized), "SIGNAGE" was literary theory. That's a chronological arrangement. "CANDOR" is an alternating of reviews & poetry, In one part near the end of "SIGNAGE", Alan writes about not having written for a yr. "CANDOR" seems like a reappraisal one might have after not having written for a yr. When Alan likes a bk, or, perhaps, the person who wrote the bk, he tends to read into it intently. Whether this a "close reading" by his own standards (see "SIGNANGE") is unclear to me.

About Norman Fischer: "The man's been using corners to see around mirrors." Turning phrases into praises? About Robert Grenier: "The beautiful way the variousness between the ampersand and the spelling of the word gets articulated is evidenced in Phantom Anthems (O Books, 1986) along with other sturdier turns of thought. There are longer strides here than had previously met the ear from there, and airier." About Steve Benson: "Here the words flow over a surface topologically reminiscent of Steve's face." About Anne-Marie Albiach: "She's the girl that Robbe-Grillet's novels happen to." A review from Alan is a miniature compacted bk in & of itself.

& there're even things like the following. Things that might not've been written prior to the yr of not writing:


couldn't get all the Aids
he wanted for the Contras
so found a way to give it
to people he couldn't get to back them.

I give this 4 stars but it cd just as easily be 2. The thing is the 5 stars are now arranged equidistant around a circle & the 2 or 4 stars are lighting up on this circle in various possible ways: chasing each other clockwise, eg.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Candor.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 6, 2008 – Shelved
March 6, 2008 – Shelved as: literary-criticism
March 6, 2008 – Shelved as: poetry

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alan (new)

Alan Davies CANDOR was written over a period of several years (mid- to late-80s) and includes chronologically all the writing that I chose to keep from that period of time. [ A subsequent manuscript (unpublished) is called LIFE / and the one subsequent to that (also unpublished) LONELY. The two were written between about 1990 and 1998. ] After those periods of time / from New York City (including time in a country home in Panther PA) to upstate Cold Spring beside the Hudson –- I no longer found that writing fit so readily the chronological model / which through that time I had found myself unable to improve upon.

I’ve always liked the title CANDOR / and remain satisfied with it to this day. It’s something I believe in / and hold to –- I can’t say I believe in the truth (not at all) / but the effort in that direction (that I believe in). No one deserves to suffer more than they have to –- we might as well do what we can to move away from that –- candor seems such a gesture (whether it in any sense justifies itself beyond being a gesture I don’t know).

“When Alan likes a bk, or, perhaps, the person who wrote the bk, he tends to read into it intently.” It’s when I like the book that I read into it intently / it’s when I like the person that I read into them intently. On those rare and happily felicitous moments when the two coincide –- I read carefully into the book and the person / and into the person’s book / and into the book’s person / into the person as book and the book as person. Like that.

“Whether this a "close reading" by his own standards (see "SIGNANGE") is unclear to me.” This is what I would understand to be meant by a “close reading” / it is what I mean when I use the term. But it means to read not only into (into (not only into)) / but also to read out from (out from) and through (and through (to read out from and through)) the text (and the person (and the etc). Like that. It’s like that.

“A review from Alan is a miniature compacted bk in & of itself.” That’s a comforting (and comfortable) thought –- I’m pleased. I guess my little books always star the book of the author and the author her/himself / and they feature (as well) the readers of that book (those books) / and the reader of the review as well. And of course words are in no way not characters in them (as well).

-- Alan Davies

back to top